What is Carb Cycling?
If you are counting macros then you have a certain number of grams of carbohydrates that you are eating each day.
Carb cycling is simply eating more carbs on one day and less on another, instead of the same exact number of carbs each day.
Benefits of Carb Cyling:
With my clients who’s main goal is fat loss, carb cycling offers them even more flexibility in their meal plans.
It allows them to plan for social situations where they would benefit from having more carbs to work with. It helps clients feel less restricted, because let’s be real, if you are cutting you are definitely eating less!
One of my goals is to help them not feel so restricted that they binge. Carb cycling can help them be successful by giving them an opportunity to enjoy foods that normally might not fit their macros.
Carb Cycling is often used to break plateaus. The body is super smart so switching things up can help keep fat loss moving.
Carb cycling is amazing in prep and off season so you can really fuel and feel at peace with your food!!
Do I “have to” Carb cycle?
No. You can eat your macros as they are written each day. It’s nice to have options though.
One of my clients had a dinner planned for Saturday night. She reserved 20g carbs a day for Saturday and had an extra
120g carbs for her dinner.
Can I save all my fat and carbs for Saturday night?
No. You may not. You must be fueling your body each day. Fat cycling is not “a thing”. Your body needs the fats on your macro plan so you can be healthy. Fat in your diet keeps you from being hungry.
If you are looking for a binge opportunity, reassess your goals.
Do I have to have a pattern for my carb cycling?
Well.. you could. You can test the waters and see if having a few lower carb days followed by a higher carb day works best.
Frankly, I haven’t’ seen true scientific evidence that it has to be certain patters to make fat loss more prevalent. I have had clients come to me on Low carb days of 20 carbs then a high carb day of 400. I can’t even with that. No one wants to live like this. Keep it simple and see how your life unfolds. This is about YOU. You will be happier and able to sustain your program if you figure out the best plan for yourself.
Prep girls.. you know we work hard in off season so we can do carb cycling easily in prep. It’s a game changer!
High carb days for training benefits is one way I use carb cycling. If I am doing a heavy leg day, dead lifts, squats, that is a great day to eat higher carb. I use my pre-workout carbs to fuel my lift. I can eat more that day because I’m really really hungry!
End game: You need to be in a calorie deficit (eating less overall) to achieve fat loss. If you are training/fueling properly, you have options with your food.
ACK:*clean. There is no such thing. For the sake of this blog, I will use this term as nutritious food. Some processed foods are very solid. I like Flat out wraps. They are processed. So is Whey and greek yogurt. I love Lenny and Larry cookies and they are A rated.. Just so you know.. I’m NOT talking about things that have to come from Mother Earth. Candy bars are discretionary. Potato chips are discretionary. Those things do have nutrition but we certainly don’t NEED them. We know the difference between Tootsie Rolls and Apples. 🙂
Food quality matters to me. If you are unsure of all this.. check out this blog.